The latest ARK: Survival Evolved PC update brought some profound changes to the open-world survival game and the player community isn’t particularly happy with some of them. In particular, the flyer nerf and changes to the user interface have generated the most complaints. Studio Wildcard has addressed those with promises of changes as early as Tuesday evening with a patch.
The exact release time of the ARK: Survival Evolved patch to take another pass at tamed flyers and the user interface (UI) is currently planned for Tuesday night, Pacific Time. These patches can end up coming later, so stay tuned to this space when it comes. The good news for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners is they will be able to avoid the worst of the teething issues as Studio Wildcard will consolidate the various fixes and updates made to the PC version into the console updates scheduled for later this month.
Update: The patch is expected to be delivered sometime on Wednesday now, per a Twitter post from Studio Wildcard Community Manager Jat.
The Flyer Nerf Issues
Tamed flying dinosaurs have essentially dominated and been a critical part of the game since it first hit Steam Early Access in July 2015. Studio Wildcard addressed this in the 256 update with an across the board decrease to base stamina of 50 percent for all flying creatures, except the Moth. Additionally, stamina recovery was removed if players were riding or standing on the creature and the ability to upgrade a flyer’s speed when they level up was removed altogether.
Combine those changes with a decrease in speed when a flyer is being ridden and making the passenger carry weight count fully and it isn’t surprising ARK Survivors have been complaining on Reddit, Steam, social media, and the official forums.
Senior gameplay designer Kayd Hendricks explained that the nerf was necessary in an official post as Studio Wildcard wants all dinosaurs in the game, land and air-based, to fill distinct roles. Instead, ARK: Survival Evolved devolved into a flyer dominated game. Land dinos became trivialized in PVP with the speed of flying dinos and the ability to stay airborne endlessly causing “snatching, C4 bombing, and Quetz Grenading huge, easy issues, but it had underlying repercussions in the overall pvp gameplay space.”
It also affected PVE where, according to the gameplay designer, players ignored 80 percent of the game.
Hendricks also shared the following explanation of the roles that each tamed flyer is meant to fill.
- Ptero– Fast, sprinting scout, with low hp/stamina, but quicker stamina recovery. Fastest flier in the game (except for wild wyverns).
- Argent– Tanky fighter, can scrap well and take some hits, high stamina/carry weight compared to all other fliers (except Quetz), while still maintaining some agility.
- Moth– “beginner” mount, lowest stats across the board for explicit travel or fighting, but a powerful special attack for specialized use.
- Pelagornis– Versatility flier with generally low stats, but unique functionality, and other special abilities to offset its lack of direct stat power.
- Quetz– Sky Bronto. Slow, extreme stamina, extreme weight capacity, good for prolonged sieges or for moving massive quantities of things to and fro. High health pool, but extremely poor maneuverability and very vulnerable.
- Tapejara– Tactical flier. Between the Argent and Ptero for overall stats, but with multi-mount support and latching abilities, it can carry well armed players in and out of the battlefield or to remote locations.
- Wyvern– Lord of the skies. Low stamina, moderate move speed, poor agility, but extreme power and versatility.
Tamed Flyer Changes
Studio Wildcard’s goal with the 256 update was to nerf flyers across the board and then buff them back up or make other alterations based on player feedback. Hendricks shared a Google Spreadsheet detailing the first round of stat changes being made to the ARK flyers
One of the few across-the-board buffs is to flyer speed multiplier while being ridden. This was increased for every flying creature except the Quetzal. The Pteranodon got a 33 percent buff owing to its role as a scout. However, its base Stamina was cut slightly again offset by slightly less Stamina consumption and increased recovery.
The Quetzal, on the other hand, received a huge boost to its base Stamina by 480 points. This is by far the most of any of the flying creatures with the second largest Stamina increase belonging to the Wyvern at just 75 points. All others received a 20 to 30-point boost except for the Pteranodon.
The Argentavis also receive notable improvements with slightly buffed HP, Stamina, Carry Weight, and Damage per level tamed. On the flip side, its Stamina recovery is slightly slower.
Changes to the various ARK: Survival Evolved inventory screens have also been controversial. The game’s user interface (UI) has always needed work, but the changes implemented by Studio Wildcard has knocked for readability issues thanks to light blue text on a slightly darker blue background. Icons for different quality of items are difficult to distinguish.
Studio Wildcard has heard the ARK community feedback on the UI changes and will take another pass at them in the same patch planned for Tuesday evening.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]